The Evolutionary Tradition in Jurisprudence

E. Donald Elliott, Yale Law School


Law is a scavenger. It grows by feeding on ideas from outside, not
by inventing new ones of its own. How borrowed ideas-not political
and social theories, but abstract ideas borrowed from other disciplines-
affect the law is a topic scholars have overlooked. This Article
begins to fill that void by considering how the most influential idea of
the last century, Charles Darwin's theory of biological evolution, has
affected the way lawyers think about law.